Suggested Learning Resources


2) Video Lesson: 6/4 Chords Donoald Sloan Channel

Bonus Video: 6/4 Chords Dr. Gawboy Vimeo Channel

3) Online Reading: 6/4 Chords

4) Interactive Lesson: 

Music Theory QuickThink: 

-          Root position and first inversion chords are thought of as relatively stable, and often exhibit the harmonic function that their Roman numeral indicates.  However, second inversion (6/4) chords are relatively unstable in terms of function, and usually function as embellishing other chords around them.  There are several categories of 6/4 chord embellishments.

-          Neighbor 6/4 and Pedal 6/4 are two labels to describe the same thing

-          The chords that precedes and follows this type of 6/4 are the same and are in root position

-          This type of 6/4 usually appears  as    I – IV 6/4 – I   or  V – I 6/4 – V

-          The root stays the same throughout all three chords (hence the name pedal 6/4)

-          The 3rd and 5th of the first chord move up by step, and then down by step (hence the name neighbor 6/4)

-          In terms of harmonic function, this type of 6/4 usually expands (or prolongs) the functional area that precedes it.


-          Identify a chord in second inversion (usually a IV 6/4 or I 6/4)

-          Look at the chords that precede and follow the chord

-          See if the bass stays the same throughout (pedal point)

-          Most common progressions of this type are  I – IV 6/4 – I   or  V – I 6/4 – V

-          See if the 3rd and 5th of the preceding and following chord act as neighbor tones with the 6/4 chord

Objective 19.2: Examples in Music: YouTube

Objective 19.2: Identify and label the Neighbor/Pedal 6/4 in music exercises, and identify in real music examples.